How to give a compliment in Italian

Learning how to give a compliment in Italian can really add to your overall experience when traveling in Italy. Because let’s be honest, who doesn’t like being complimented? Compliments are a fantastic way to interact with locals and give kudos where they are deserved.

Italians love to compliment. Sure, sometimes it’s their charming way of flirting, but most often than not it’s just them genuinely expressing their opinions or feelings about something.  We all know how wonderful it feels to receive a compliment, so wouldn’t it be great to return the favor?

But, instead of going for the universally standard thumbs up, why not try learning a few compliments that you can use on different occasions throughout your stay in the bel paese?

give a compliment in italian

Well Done!

So, let’s start off with a really easy compliment. You’ve probably already heard, and possibly even used, this very popular Italian compliment. When you want to compliment someone on a job well done, you’ll often hear people say Bravo! (if the subject is male) or Brava! (if the subject is female).

Imagine this; you are enjoying a leisurely passeggiata in the city center or along the beachfront promenade and come across some entertaining street performers. If you were impressed by their performance, you’ll typically clap. Now, how about adding a self-esteem-boosting “Bravo!”?

Were you super impressed? Kick it up a notch by using the superlative form of this adjective: bravissimo/ bravissima. You could also tell someone how good they are by saying “Sei bravissimo/a” (You are really good!)


Italy will take your breath away. Whether you are gazing out over a gorgeous coastline, stepping into an ancient cathedral, or simply wandering the cobblestone streets of a charming village, you’ll probably be left speechless.

But, maybe we can help you find the words to bring some justice to the greatness and wonder that stands before you. In Italian, we can use “che” before an adjective or a noun to emphasize our strong feelings toward whatever we are talking about! So let’s say you are standing in Piazza del Cannone in Tropea, and you are admiring the beautiful coastline as the sun begins to set. In a situation like this, you could say “che bello!” (how beauitufl) or “che bel tramonto” (what a beautiful sunset!).

But you can also say:

Che spettacolo! (what a performance/what a sight):  Use this to describe the breathtaking sunsets in Italy.
Che meraviglia! (how wonderful): Use this to describe how beautiful something is. I’ve also used it to express my joy when being served something delicious, like a freshly made Tartufo ice cream in Pizzo Calabro.

Praising Kindness

Italians are known for always being ready to lend a helping hand. Sometimes they’ll even go out of their way to help. In those cases, a simple “Grazie” just won’t do. In English, we’d probably say something like “thanks for your help”, which in Italian is “Grazie per il tuo aiuto“. We can also praise their kindness by saying, “Grazie, sei molto gentile!” (Thank you, you are very kind) or “Grazie, gentilissimo!“.

With these few expressions under your belt, you are well on your way to learning how to give a compliment in Italian. Practice them with your friends and family, and you’ll not only begin feeling more comfortable using these compliments, but you’ll also be ready to show off your fluency on your upcoming trip to Italy.